The establishment of the Sejm Library followed Poland's regaining of independence in 1918 and the ensuing parliamentary election of 1919. The library was set up at the end of 1919, and after many organizational changes it came to incorporate the Senate Library and the parliamentary archives. By 1939 the library's collection amounted to 78,000 volumes, including parliamentary and official publications as well as books and journals on law and the social, economic, and historical sciences. In September 1939, a fire destroyed part of the collection, while the remaining 62,000 volumes were transported by the Germans to Berlin where they disappeared in circumstances that were never clarified. Only a small part of the collection, deposited before the end of the war in Castle Houska in Czechoslovakia, returned to Poland. In a one-chamber parliament set up after World War II, the library, functioning under the name of the "Sejm Library," had to rebuild its collections almost from scratch. In 1991, the library took over the 145,000 volume library collection of the former Archives of the Polish Left, and in 1993 the Sejm Archives was incorporated into it. Currently, the entirely automated library has a collection of about 500,000 volumes and provides services for both chambers of the Polish Parliament.


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